A465 schemes 'double the cost' of UK dualling

22/02/2021
Rhodri Clark

The estimated construction cost per km of the Welsh Government’s recent A465 dualling contract is more than double that of other comparable current schemes in the UK.

The Government says the high cost is down to site conditions rather than its use of the Mutual Investment Model (MIM), a new form of Public Private Partnership.

For dualling schemes on the A30 Chiverton-Carland Cross in Cornwall, the A6 Dungiven-Drumahoe in Northern Ireland and the A9 Luncarty-Pass of Birnam in Scotland, cost per km ranges from £8.6m to £21.6m. Their average cost per km is £12.8m.

The A465 Dowlais-Hirwaun contract, awarded last autumn, has an estimated construction cost of £33.3m per km, 160% higher than the average for the schemes in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The cost of the A465 Gilwern-Brynmawr dualling, where completion has been delayed by topographical and other complications, is even higher, at £41.5m per km.

The Dowlais-Hirwaun construction consortium will cover the scheme’s estimated £590m cost. After completion in 2025, it will operate the road for 30 years and receive annual service payments from the Government totalling £1.14bn, excluding VAT and inflation.

Asked whether the MIM had resulted in bidders including large risk allowances in cost estimates, a government spokesman said risk apportionment had formed a large part of discussions with bidders during procurement.

‘We are satisfied that using the MIM we have achieved optimum risk distribution and placed risk with the party best placed to manage it. The scope of site investigations undertaken was developed in conjunction with bidders, and findings were made available to them in developing their tenders.’

Asked what benchmarking was undertaken, he said: ‘Simple cost-per-kilometre comparisons between different schemes do not take into account the differences between the scope of each scheme and site conditions.’

Both of the current A465 dualling schemes were ‘significantly challenging and complex projects,' he added. 

Also see

Highways jobs

Senior Traffic Engineer

£34,728 - £38,890 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen within the Highways & Flooding team for an experienced Senior Traffic Engineer. Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)
Recruiter: Monmouthshire County Council

Director of Place

£82,200
Mid Devon is a beautiful predominantly rural district, with rolling hills and valleys, picturesque villages and attractive market towns Tiverton, Devon
Recruiter: Mid Devon District Council

Assistant Director Route to Zero Carbon

£77,046 - £95,230
As you coordinate and implement a series of projects and programme to reduce carbon emissions... Birmingham, West Midlands
Recruiter: Birmingham City Council

Principal Environmental Health Officer

£41,952 - £48,663
To be considered for this post you be a qualified Environmental Health Officer with a certificate of registration issued by the... Camden, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Camden London Borough Council

Environmental Health Officer / Graduate Environmental Health Officer

£34,033 - £43,659
This role follows a period of growth and the renewal of our borough-wide additional HMO licensing scheme. Camden, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Camden London Borough Council

Transport Projects Officer

£32,418 - £37,722 pa
Your role will involve developing, implementing and monitoring various transport projects as part of multidisciplinary project teams. Hounslow (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recruiter: Hounslow London Borough Council

Senior Engineer (Network Management)

£43,860 - £46,839 pa
Join us as a Senior Engineer (Network Management), and you’ll contribute to the development and implementation of... Hounslow (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recruiter: Hounslow London Borough Council

Highways Director

£92,402 to £101,644 per annum
As the Highways Director, you will lead and deliver the transformation of the Highways Division, to effectively... Derbyshire
Recruiter: Derbyshire County Council

Environment & Transport Director

£92,402 - £101,644 per annum
As the Environment and Transport Director you will lead a dynamic and challenging set of services, covering... Derbyshire
Recruiter: Derbyshire County Council

Principal Local Engineer

£35,745 - £43,857
The Principal Local Engineer role is to provide service at principal level to deliver Local Engineering duties Birmingham, West Midlands
Recruiter: Birmingham City Council

Transport Development Officer

£39,880 to £43,857
This new and exciting role will be pivotal in helping deliver the implementation of change associated with our response to the National Bus Strategy. North Yorkshire
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Waste Collection Operative - Loaders / HGV Drivers (Hays Recruitment)

Competitive Salary
Hays are excited to be working in partnership with Chelmsford City Council who are always looking to expand their teams and are looking for... Chelmsford, Essex
Recruiter: Chelmsford City Council

Commercial Vehicle Technician

£30,000 per annum
Responsibilities as our Commercial Vehicle Technician will include... Chelmsford, Essex
Recruiter: Chelmsford City Council

Climate Change Project Support Officer

£30,451 - £32,234 per annum
This is an exciting opportunity to support for the development and delivery of the Council’s Climate Change Action Plan and... Camden, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Corporate Fleet & Transport Manager

£65,382 - £68,898 Per annum
To create a place where everyone, whatever their background, has the opportunity to reach their potential and enjoy a good quality of life. London (Greater)
Recruiter: Islington London Borough Council

Senior Pest Control Officer

£34,209 - £36,708 p.a. inc.
You will need to be a self-starter and have a 'can do approach' to service delivery and problem solving. Brent, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Brent Council

Nuisance Control Officer

£36,708- £42,855 inc. plus £4,800 shift allowance p.a
We are looking for a proactive and committed person with a strong customer focus, exceptional communication skills and a practical approach to... Brent, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Brent Council

Engineer (Highway Development Control)

£32,910 - £35,745 per annum
You will need to have political awareness and good communication and negotiation skills, as well as experience of working with elected members. Calderdale, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council

Head of Traffic & Capital Delivery

£56,100 - £63,633 per annum
We are looking for a Head of Traffic and Capital Delivery to join us at this critical time for Hounslow. Reporting to... London (Greater)
Recruiter: Hounslow London Borough Council

Flood Risk Project Manager

£30,451 to £32,910
We are looking for a Flood Risk Managers to lead on the development and progression of our Flood Management Scheme, identifying and... Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Highways Presents

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Revealed: Legal costs on the rise

Also Inside:

  • In memoriam: Steve Berry – a highways hero
  • Carbon knowledge is power
View the latest issue

Latest Video